The next generation of potentially top U.S. Soccer players, as usual, includes more than one with Washington-area connections.
Two D.C. United academy products were named to the latest U.S. Under-18 training camp that will take place this month in the Netherlands, defender Suliaman Dainkeh and midfielder Romain Gall.
Dainkeh is a standout for South Lakes and a Maryland commit who has played regularly for the United academy throughout his high school career. Gall, a Herndon native, currently calls French club FC Lorient home – his father is also from France – but played for the D.C. United academy before moving first to the Real Salt Lake academy in Arizona and then to Europe. Should he eventually play professionally in the U.S., D.C. United owns his Major League Soccer rights.
DeMatha midfielder and Bowie native Jacori Hayes also earned his first invitation the U.S. Under-18 team. Hayes will play for Wake Forest next season.
Meanwhile, no recent U.S. roster would be complete without a German-bred American. The latest to be uncovered and included in the 20-player roster is Julian Green, who was born in Tampa, Fla., plays for Bayern Munich and has represented Germany at the youth level.
In an odd twist, goalkeeper Zackary Steffen is listed on the U.S. roster with Maryland, but he won’t be there until next year.
The training camp includes a friendly against the Netherlands on Sept. 11 and other friendlies against U-18 sides from Feyenoord Rotterdam, Borussia Dortmund and Club Brugge.
In addition to Green and Hayes, one-time Paris St-Germain academy midfielder and California native Piakai Henkel is also getting his first U.S. call.
MLS has three Homegrown Players on the 20-man roster: Philadelphia’s Zach Pfeffer, FC Dallas’ Kellyn Acosta and Chivas USA’s Marco Delgado.
The full U.S. U-18 training camp roster:
GOALKEEPERS: Ethan Horvath (Unattached; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Zackary Steffen (Maryland; Downington, Pa.).
DEFENDERS: Michael Amick (De Anza Force; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Suliaman Dainkeh (DC United Academy; Reston, Va.), Dylan Greenberg (Albertson SC; Dix Hills, N.Y.), Trevor Haberkorn (Solar Chelsea SC; Roanoke, Texas), Jalen Markey (Seattle Sounders FC Academy; Renton, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Marco Delgado (CD Chivas USA; Glendora, Calif.), Romain Gall (FC Lorient; Herndon, Va.), Jacori Hayes (Baltimore Bays; Bowie, Md.), Piakai Henkel (Amiens FC; Arcata, Calif.), Kristian Scott (Stoke City, Winterbourne, England)
FORWARDS: Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake Arizona; Rochester, N.Y.), Paul Arriola (LA Galaxy; Chula Vista, Calif.), Julian Green (Bayern Munich; Tampa, Fla.), Benjamin Lopez (Real Salt Lake Arizona; San Diego, Calif.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.), Ben Spencer Jr. (CD Chivas USA; Albuquerque, N.M.), Travis Wannemuehler (Indiana Fire Academy; Evansville, Ind.)